The Fight to Save a Single Tree Pays Off in Dividends

“It’s an elegant compromise,” said councillor Pat File of Midland, Ontario. Pro Oil Change proposed a new franchise to open at King St. and Colbourne in the small town located on the shores of Georgian Bay. Slated as part of the development, a white pine estimated to be 180 years old and growing on town land was to be removed for a driveway. The town agreed to the proposal, but the community didn’t, and there was an outpouring of support for the tree.

In response, Pro Oil Change voluntarily agreed to reroute their driveway and allow the tree’s root zone to remain undisturbed. When the tree dies of natural causes, Pro Oil will be allowed to construct their driveway according to the original plan. 

Travis Allan, President of Pro Oil Change said, “We have made some serious concessions to our site plan and the configuration of our operations purely for the benefit of the tree. Our wish is to keep nature where it is and alleviate the concerns of Midland residents.” 

Charles Dyer, landowner and developer said, “We have agreed not to build the entrance to Colborne Street in order to save the white pine tree. If the town removes the tree in the future, then we reserve the right to build the entrance. This is a fairly major concession as it restricts the flow of traffic on a fairly tight site.” 

Pat File is delighted with the turn of events. After six years in the community and many failed attempts advocating for the protection of trees, she feels everyone wins with this decision. In addition, at Monday’s council meeting, a citizen coincidently presented a paper on trees. After hearing both reports, council voted unanimously to investigate the potential for a tree protection bylaw and a heritage tree program.
– article by Pat Kerr; photo by Dan Kerr

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